STREAKING San Sebastian eyes a share of second place as it tangles with University of Perpetual Help System Dalta today in the NCAA men’s basketball tournament at the Filoil Flying V Centre.
On a roll with five straight victories, the Stags hope to sustain their remarkable run when they meet the skidding Altas at 12 noon.
In dire need of a win to stay within the Final Four range, College of Saint Benilde takes on dangerous Mapua at 2 p.m., while Jose Rizal University guns for its second straight win in the 4 p.m. duel with Arellano University.
Behind hot-shooting Allyn Bulanadi, San Sebastian has already surpassed its six-win output last year with a third-best 7-3 record, just half-a-game behind second-running Lyceum of the Philippines University (8-3).
“It was all team effort. Iyon ang nangyayari ngayon sa team,” said coach Egay Macaraya after the Stags routed the Blazers, 83-67, last Thursday.
The Altas, for their part, sit in eighth spot with a 3-7 card and are on danger of missing the Final Four bus after making it back last year behind MVP Prince Eze.
Another loss will put Perpetual Help in a precarious situation of winning as many games as it could to progress into the next round.
St. Benilde is on a tailspin, losing four of its five matches after a 5-0 start, now trailing Letran (7-4) by half-a-game in the race for the last semifinals berth.
The Blazers should be wary of the Cardinals, who stunned the Knights in double overtime, 105-101, last Friday.
Upstart Mapua has won three of its last four contests after starting the season at 0-5, and is two-and-a-half games out of the No. 4 spot.
Though they are mathematically still possible of crashing into the Final Four, the young Bombers (4-7) are looking forward to constant improvement in their performance in every game, which coach Louie Gonzalez is emphasizing for.
For the Chiefs, who are at the near-bottom of the standings at 2-9, it’s all about getting the needed breaks to get victories that it is hard to come by. Against defending champion San Beda last Friday, Arellano was very much in the game until it folded up in the last five minutes, eventually dropping a 66-73 decision.